Kuraray Fastening Co., Ltd. (Headquarters: Osaka; President: Mitsuhiko Takaoka) which manufactures and sells MAGIC TAPE hook and loop fastener, has announced the development of two new types of MAGIC TAPE that greatly reduce the tearing noise such fasteners make when opened. The new products will go on sale in August.
Although there are times when the distinctive sound of MAGIC TAPE being ripped open is useful, as when it is used as a crime prevention device, at other times it can disturb a quiet environment.
When the Fukui Chamber of Commerce and Industry was preparing in 2003 for an Internet exhibition on complaints and claims against businesses, a 30-year-old housewife told them, "MAGIC TAPE is too noisy when you unfasten it." Kuraray Fastening immediately began to study the mechanism of the peeling noise its hook and loop fasteners make. They discovered that peeling the hook side away from the loop side causes the hooks, which are thick fibers, to oscillate. This oscillation is transmitted to the hard fabric on which the hooks are mounted and thence to the air, creating sound waves. When sound waves strike an object, they can be reflected, transmitted, and absorbed.
Armed with that understanding, the Company developed two new types of low-noise fasteners by (1) greatly reducing the thickness of the hook fibers, substantially increasing the number of hooks, and coating the fabric backing with resin to reduce oscillation, creating the "soft type" fastener; and (2) substituting mesh for woven fabric on the loop side, reducing noise by allowing it to pass through the gaps in the mesh, resulting in the "mesh type" fastener. These were on display at the 2004 Complaints and Claims Internet Exhibition, and having received a favorable reception from the public were readied for mass production and marketing.
Because the soft type MAGIC TAPE does not allow sound to pass, it is suitable for use on hard objects such as cases, bags, and shoes. The mesh type, on the other hand, allows sound to pass through knit and sound-transparent fabrics, and is therefore better suited for use on such things as hospital underwear, back braces, trusses, and gloves. Both products will find applications in many fields.
To illustrate the sound-reduction effects, when conventional MAGIC TAPE is used on golf gloves, opening the fastener produces sound at 90dB, compared to 78dB for the soft type and 80dB for the mesh type.
- * dB
- The decibel, abbreviated "dB," is a unit of measure for sound. The decibel is a relative unit of measure, not an absolute one, which expresses the relationship of a sound's intensity to a reference intensity on a logarithmic scale. At any given wavelength, 20dB is 10 times the base value, while 40dB is 100 times the reference intensity. This is a good fit to the logarithmic dependence of perceived loudness on sound intensity, which means that a 10dB difference is perceived as twice as loud, a 20dB difference is perceived as 4 times as loud, and so forth. The ambient sound level in a busy factory is ordinarily around 90dB, and in a train, 80dB.